In 2018, Beyoncé and Jay-Z co-headlined their second "On the Run" stadium tour, reaching millions of fans across Europe and North America on one of the highest grossing tours of the year. At the conclusion of their fifth show at London Stadium on June 16, the video for "Apeshit," a new song recorded with Quavo, Offset, and Pharrell Williams, was premiered for the crowd, who were informed via LCD display, "ALBUM OUT NOW." Released under the Carters moniker, that surprise collaborative effort, Everything Is Love, was the unofficial close to a thematic trilogy that also included Lemonade and 4:44. The short set went on to win a Grammy in 2019.
As two of the most prominent cultural figures in R&B/hip-hop at the time of release, the Carters' unannounced project was met with rapturous fan attention and, later, widespread critical acclaim. After the post-concert announcement, Everything Is Love was immediately available for streaming and download on Tidal, and was available elsewhere two days later. Even though the pair had already worked together on multiple tracks -- such as "'03 Bonnie & Clyde," "Crazy In Love," and "Drunk In Love" -- the nine-song collection was their first official full-length collaboration. As with their previously-released material, the music offered an unflinching, honest peek behind the scenes at their married (and family) life, presenting a united front joined by their surname. The personal and largely celebratory album, balanced between contemporary R&B and rap with contributions from the likes of Cool & Dre, Boi-1da, and Ty Dolla $ign, debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, as Beyoncé and Jay-Z eased into the second half of their tour's European leg. The U.S. tour ran from late July to the first week of October. In February 2019, Everything Is Love won a Grammy for Best Urban Contemporary Album. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & Andy Kellman